The scarf didn’t see it coming

My blue lace scarf had no idea it was going to be finished. I sort of sneaked up on it and ended this very long project on Tuesday evening. This is also the second Friday in a row that I have an FO. So, I’ve got two reasons to be very pleased with my knitting.

 

 

You might recall that I made a deal with myself to knit one pattern repeat a day to get this finished. A week after I made this pact I did not stick to the letter of its law. It still helped me to make this promise to myself, though, because it was constantly on my mind. I’d be at the supermarket and the voice in my head would nag at me, “You haven’t knitted a repeat on your scarf in a few days!”

This design is called “A Man’s Scarf in Blue to Knit” by Inna Voltchkova. It took me about seven months to complete it. It’s a difficult lace pattern to follow because the repeat is several rows long. Consequently, I did not ever memorize this and had to have the chart in front of me the entire time I worked on it. Although the directions recommend using blocking pins, I simply washed my scarf and laid it out flat to dry on some towels, stretching it width-wise. It held the shape I wanted as it dried and the zig-zag pattern is very clear and crisp. So, if you decide to knit this blue number, you may not need to aggressively block it with a thousand pins, either. I used Zitron Filigran, a merino size 0 lace weight yarn which is very light and soft. A happy bonus with washing it: it gets longer because the wool expands quite a lot after having contact with water. I don’t know about you, but my scarf philosophy is: the longer the better.

A clever thing about this wonderful pattern is that the cables, just like the garter stitch lace, are reversible. The cables are actually k1p1, which allows them to look the same on both sides, as you can see in the photos.

You may not agree with the designer about men wearing this, but I totally do. It’s all mine and I’m going to wear the living daylights out of it. I think it’s suitable for men and women, actually. Anyway, I love to knit lace and tire of having to give it away because I can’t wear it. This is lace a DEWD can wear, if it fits in with his style. I shall wear it with my Levi’s denim jacket, so I think it will look fantastic on me and not the least bit strange.

I hope you knit and crochet a lot this weekend! I certainly plan on it.

One pattern repeat a day

This week, from roughly Wednesday to Saturday, I followed a mantra for my lace scarf: “I will knit at least one pattern repeat a day.” Today I skipped, so I think the mantra shall forever be revised to be this: “I will knit at least one pattern repeat a day, BUT NEVER ON SUNDAYS.”

This mantra of mine is — as I have learned the hard way — like selling your soul to the devil. By Friday I found myself knitting one pattern repeat and then I said, “I will knit the first row of the next pattern repeat and then that will get me ahead on the next day’s pattern repeat. Indeed, the chart’s pattern repeat is rows 23 to 38. On Saturday I felt a bit better about knitting my one pattern repeat because I was ahead of the game and only had to knit rows 24 to 38.

The scarf in question is Inna Voltchkova’s “A Man’s Scarf in Blue to Knit” which is the most beautiful scarf intended for men that I have ever seen in my life. If I were a religious man I’d shout “Hallelujah!” because honestly I have grown tired of knitting lace just to give it away to women who can pull it off wearing it. My readers may question Ms. Voltchkova’s decision to market her pattern as “lace for dudes” but guess what? That’s their problem. I am totally on board with wearing this puppy and I will eventually wear it. I just have to finish the darn thing first.

I took the scarf to knitting club yesterday and tried to knit some of it, but I just couldn’t focus to get it right. As a matter of fact, as soon as I started working on row 25 of the pattern repeat a friend at the table said, “what are you knitting?” and I said “something that takes some concentration, I’ll show you once I get through this row.” I showed her my WIP and she almost spit out her coffee. Really, that’s how gorgeous it is. Really, that’s how challenging it looks to knit. She said, after swallowing her coffee, “why on Earth did you bring such a difficult thing to knitting club?” I answered with the truth: “Everybody says all I bring to knitting club are garter stitch things or stockinette in the round, or socks, so I decided to knit a row of this, put it away, and then proceed with a self-striping sock.” That’s exactly what I did. I knitted row 25, put away the lace scarf, and took out my neon self-striping sock project to “kkkkkkkkkk” away on.

Mind you, this scarf, in reality, isn’t really all that hard to knit, but you have to pay attention to the chart. Remember, the repeat is rows 23 to 38, which is a repeat of 15 rows. To add some fun there are two cables and the middle is a zig-zag. The relief comes with the fact that the middle, although zig-zag, is garter stitch, so every even-numbered row is k all the way through the middle, with a chain selvedge edge and k1p1 on the cables. To refresh your memory, here’s a photo of the project (imagine it 70 rows longer):

blue-lace-scarf

My reason for selling my soul to the “one pattern repeat a day” devil? I have found that I start making mistakes after one pattern repeat. If I try to knit more than that, I get to my second pass through rows 23 to 28 just fine, and then I mess up and have to tink because maybe I didn’t yarn over, or maybe on my way back on an even-numbered row I let a yarn over fall off the needle without noticing (usually the latter more than the former). So, one repeat a day, but never on Sundays.

I absolutely am 100% certain of one thing: I’m going to finish this scarf. It’s lace for men to wear! Finally! I want to wear this so bad. It is also part of my evilly selfish scheme to have a million handmade ways to accessorize my Levi’s blue denim jacket. Just imagine, it’s beautiful lace, it’s complex, and it’s “for a man to wear.” I mean really, this scarf was designed for me and only me. BY THE DEVIL.